Specialty Fibre – New Temperature Ratings for New Applications

AFL Telecommunications USA has partnered with Jubatus to offer a range of specialty fibre solutions to our clients in Australia and New Zealand. Following new developments in sensing technology, power utilities are recognising the reliability of Distributed Temperature Sensing for monitoring EHV cable networks in real-time, reducing the risk of unscheduled downtime and network failures.

A major setback to the installation of such systems has been the threat of a premature fibre failure due to the harsh environment in which they need to operate. The DTS fibre is insignificant in value compared to the overall cost of the project, however, it has the potential to render a critical monitoring system useless well before the design life of the cable into which it is housed (typically 50 years). Conventional optical fibres are designed to operate at 85°C however given that some classes of cables can experience temperatures above this for long periods of time it is essential that the fibre life does not deteriorate as a result of this.

AFL’s new range incorporates specialty optical fibres designed to handle such extreme conditions. In the case of DTS, high temperature fibres of both single and multi mode are housed in stainless steel tubes 316L grade. These fibres have an operational rating of 150°C. Apart from power cable applications, these cables are used extensively in major industrial plants and in the oil and gas sector.